Hair today, gone tomorrow: Dartmouth resident gets the big chop for charity

Dec 2, 2019

Julianna Dick has been growing out her hair for nearly four years.

But just before Thanksgiving, the Dartmouth resident and senior at Providence Country Day school decided to lop it off for charity.

Dick is donating around ten inches of her straight black hair to Children With Hair Loss, a non-profit that makes wigs for children who lose their hair due to conditions like Alopecia, burns, or cancer treatments.

“I’ve been growing my hair for a while, and I just thought, ‘Why waste it?’” said Dick. “And I’d love to give it to others who don’t have any.”

Before heading to North Dartmouth’s Salon En Vogue on November 26 for the big chop, Dick’s locks were 27 inches — over two feet — long. 

She said that she’s worn it that way since freshman year. 

“I would just get it trimmed, because I wanted to keep the length,” she said. “But then after a while, finally, now I’m ready for a cut.”

The 18-year-old student plays violin and volleyball, and is currently waiting to hear back from most of the ten schools she applied to for college next year.

“I feel like being a senior, I’m ready to move on from things,” she explained. “Just have a fresh change.”

Dick and her mother both come regularly to the salon on State Road, where owner Lisa Leite has developed a relationship with the hair loss charity.

“We’ve been working with them probably for a good eight years now,” Leite said. “We used to do Locks of Love, but we heard a couple of things about them and what they were doing, so we ended up switching to Children With Hair Loss.”

Locks of Love has been known to charge patients for its wigs, and has also run into controversy in recent years for financial irregularities due to the discrepancy between the number of hair donations received and the number of wigs produced.

Leite noted that there were other reasons for the change as well.

“[Children With Hair Loss] had a little bit more flexibility as far as the hair and the length, so that was a plus,” she explained. “And I read their whole story, and their background, and it just was closer to my heart...It’s just for children.”

“It’s a very nice organization,” agreed Dick. “They give the wigs for free to the kids.”

Leite estimates that around 20 people donate their hair every year, including a whole class at Dartmouth Middle School.

“A lot of people specifically [grow their hair] just for that,” Leite added. “And if they cut a lot of hair off and they don’t know about it, then that’s when we explain.”

Children With Hair Loss accepts donations of 8 - 10 inches of clean, dry hair mailed in to their headquarters in Michigan.

Dick said she was looking forward to the experience. “It gets so long, and it gets so tangled up so easily,” she said. “I’m excited, and I’m definitely ready.”